This is: Arcdrummer
 
 
In the beginning there was a snare drum. It was my uncle Alan's with a mashed up batter head and it said "La Boz" on the side. With it came a pair of marching sticks that were perfect for beating the hell out of it.

After a while it was time to pick an instrument to play in the 5th grade band. Though I pushed for the drums, mom and dad convinced me to choose a horn. My older brother played trumpet, so I began my lessons on trombone. I played that bone right up through my first few semesters of college. Senior year of High School actually brought an offer of a jazz trombone major at UCONN, but being 17, my first inclination was to decline everything.

Though fairly passionate about being first chair in the low brass section, there was a compelling desire for percussion. Not having my own kit, I would go to John Geary or Rob Daub's house and beat away at theirs, bashing along with ACDC and Deep Purple records. Later when Pete Perzel got an ancient, wrecked Rogers kit, I would go over there to shred his drumheads. It was there that I got my first taste of recording; multitracking on his dad's 4 track Fostex, a couple mics on the drums, a sequenced bassline, and Perzel playing basic jazz chords on an Ensoniq keyboard. It was 1986. 

My life's course was knocked onto a new tangent Christmas eve of 87 when I woke, peered out the window and saw my dad with a jet black floor tom on his shoulder, as he shuffled his way through a dusting of powdery snow to the front door. The next day the whole family endured a four hour drum solo, as I bashed away on my shiny new, entry level, "Maxwin, by Pearl!" (complete with Camber cymbals) drumset.

I continued playing the bone in concert, marching and jazz band, (also with randomly thrown together quar and quintet ensembles for Christmas caroling)and began playing drums for the school pep band, driving the cheerleaders crazy with out of control tempos on fight songs they had choreographed routines to.

Jam sessions in the basement were held with Scott Morton and Jason Smith on guitar, and talk was made about forming a band called The Main Attraction. It wasn't until that summer when working at a summer camp that Bill Stevens and I first jammed together (on Sammy Hagar's 'I Can't Drive (55)') that caused the spark to ignite our first band. That fall we put a band together. After a short stint with Rob O'Donovan on vocals (with one gig at the highschool where we played Purple Haze and Hot For Teacher, ((with me on vocals)), the line up solidified with Bill on lead axe, Pete Savoie on bass, my cousin Abe on keys, Kevin Jeram on rhythm, Ryan Murphy on rhythm and vocals, and me, the Arc Drummer, on skins and backing vox. We named the band after my car. Horizon was born.

It was the late 80s. We were into classic rock and hair metal. I practiced to Van Halen, Boston, Motley Crue etc, the tunes playing through cheap walkman earbuds with my dad's chainsaw hearing protection over them to block out the drum racket. Regular Horizon rehearsals led to a deep repetoire of cover songs (Led Zeppelin, Boston, Hendrix, Joe Satriani(!), Steppinwolf) as well as a couple of teenaged goofiness inspired originals, (THOVBF, Grouse Phallus). In true tribute fashion we could run "Dazed and Confused to 45 minutes. My parents were saints.

We played at friend's parties and various High School functions. There was a rivalry with Kurt Kulpa's band Eclipsed. The biggest show we ever played was a battle of the bands, where in the end we all lost out to a band called Knightmare, that we are fairly certain won because the organisers of the event feared a riot from all the out of town thugs who showed up to support that band. "Knightmare is the winner, now please disperse".

Bill went off to college in NY, and promptly formed and fronted "Hundred Acre Wood", a groovy neo-hippie funky jam band that played well to the unwashed college kids in upstate NY. They scored some regional success with a tune called 'Creole Succotash'. After college he returned to the area and played around a bit with my brother William (drums/vox)in a group called "Dust Jacket", and most recently was rocking out with Diminishing Jim (a group that has played on the hallowed stage at Toad's Place in New Haven!)

Horizon continued to play infrequently as I knocked around doing a post graduate year at a prepschool in Hartford, spending most of my time hanging out with the musicians enrolled at the Hartt School of Music at UHA. Pete Savoie moved to lead guitar, and Abe went to the bass. Occasionally my 13 year old brother would sit in on lead Vox. The band never broke up. A reunion is likely.

Abe still plays bass and keys non professionally. I’m not sure if Kevin still plays. Murph does a Tenacious D type duo accoustic thing down in New Jersey. Through the magic of facebook Pete Savoie recently resurfaced, and I had a great time sitting in with him and a collection of his friends with a monster jam session at his wedding. My brother founded, ran (for 5 years) and folded Sleepless Sound Recording Studio in Rockville, CT, where he engineered and produced recordings for dozens of bands, and often laid drumtracks, (he played all the skins on the emo-metal band Shatterbox('s) debut album). He is currently engineering and producing at a brand new facility built nearly from the ground up, and completely on his own terms.

Somewhere in there I was recruited by a bass player with Aqua Net hair named Chris Biggs to play a few gigs with his band. These guys thought they were The Cure; the singer even  looked like Robert Smith, big hair, eye makeup, lipstick. They obviously hadn’t gotten the memo that the 90s weren’t about to be the 80s, but they had an interesting sound and I took on the challenge of translating their sequenced drum machine beats to accoustic drums. There was a gig at the University of Connecticut student union, which was memorable only in that it was my introduction to the kind of scene bubbling on New England college campuses in those days... kids dressed in a sort of pre-emo, post punk, spring trigger on a kinetic spirit ready to trip as soon as someone played chords and beats too loud and too fast.... all sweat and sex and cigarette smoke. A pretty girl in jack boots with no hair asked me if I had ever licked a freshly shaven head. 

Fall of 1991. On the cusp of the grunge phenomenon, I packed my gear and headed to college in New Hampshire. A few hours after arrival I heard an amplified guitar blaring from 2 doors down and strolled over to meet Jason T. Lane. After exchanging greetings I noted a great number of titles in his cassette case were identical to those in mine, and a few hours later we were on a small riser on a little campus knoll called 'Oya Hill' playing an open mic. With his accoustic guitar and my voice we covered Extreme('s) 'Hole Hearted' and 'Talks to Angels' by the Black Crows. A few days later we met Chris MacStravic, a bass player with a killer mullet who lived on our floor as well. Then suddenly came the tsunami of music from the Pacific Northwest.

Although we were listening to new albums by Van Halen, Guns and Roses and Metallica, there was a coming storm of stripped down and powerful rock and roll brewing. Jane's Addiction had fired the first shot over Hair Metal's mullet two years earlier, and all at once we had their new record, all stirred together in a murky (and sometimes drop-tuned)cauldron with Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Screaming Trees, Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins...soon to be followed by Alice in Chains and STP. Somewhere in there MacStravic got a hold of Mr Bungle's record and then all hell broke loose.

The three of us began rehearsing and jamming on a regular basis, setting up in the dorm lounge, (at the end of our hall and overlooking Phi Mu Delta's side porch). The brothers weren't terribly pleased. Neither were most of the hall residents. Jason and my love of powerpop rock mixed with Chris' Flea inspired slap bass style started producing a sound that was both familiar and original. Once we had learned a scant few covers (Mountain Song by Janes Addiction comes to mind) we turned our focus to developing our own material. The band got it's name one evening when Chris and Jason were setting up for an event on campus (members of the social activities council) and at one point were both perched on a step ladder attempting to hang something from the ceiling. A young woman walked by and said, "look at the men on the ladder'. Thus we became Men on Ladders.

During the winter break Men on Ladders conviened at Jason's house to lay tracks for our first demo. Jason recruited local musician Tommy Jean to haul his gear to J's parents house and set it all up in the living room. Tommy was extremely efficient in terms of his ability to get the most from the limitations of a four track recorder. That all day session yielded a four song demo, with two power pop tunes, a funky rock rap and something harder and heavier that, though titled 'Everything Leftover' we unofficially dubbed 'The Hell Tune'. It was also the last time I ever recorded a track using double kick. Jason's brother Jonny 'Shortbutt' Lane tracked the lead vox and became our lead guy for the next few months. The recording was immediately mixed down, and thrown into the highspeed dubbing decks. We put the demo into as many hands as we could.

MOL played our first club gig on May 5th 1992 at a place called the Decadance in Manchester, NH. It was a multiband bill where we shared the stage with a couple horrible hair metal bands. These guys were SERIOUS about what they were doing, with bleachy blonde long locks, nipple rings and assless jeans. Then we hit the stage with a stripped down (and very inexperienced) energetic sound. It was a clear example of the transition taking place on the national level; Metal was getting it's ass handed to them by a bunch of punk kids playing simple 3 chord rock.

MOL had two good years between 1992 and 1994 of playing around colleges, small clubs, coffee shops and other events and venues in New England. Early gigs were fronted by Jonny Shortbutt, and later shows were lead by KSC rugby star Jeff Soderberg. We were constantly writing, jamming, and recording demo material, as well as going to see bands like Mr Bungle, Live, The Ramones and Rage Against the Machine. Rock music was alive in the early 90s and it was a great time to be in a band. Though econmically bound to western New Hampshire, the band would sometimes travel to Maine, shows upstate, and even played The Stone Church in Newmarket... back in the days where it seemed the only heat in the old stone building was from the fireplace and popcorn machine. Somewhere in there I proposed onstage at a MOL show, with my headset mic on, embarassed girlfriend seated on my drum throne center stage. Another memorable show was an earthquake benefit with the late great Thanks to Gravity. I vividly remember the long cold ride up to Colby College in my 1983 Ford Ranger with a broken thermostat; we were so frozen by the time we got there, we rocked extra hard and whipped up our first real 'pit'... Jonny moshed so hard onstage he nearly was knocked out by his own knee. Remember the scene in Home Alone where the kid goes to the basement and is freaked out by the scary old furnace? That's what the furnace in the band room under the stage at The Empire Theater in Manchester looked like... glowing cherry red under our feet as people rode the crowd in front of the stage. Then there was the night in April of 94 when driving back from a gig in Horton Center in a misty fog. The road ran parallel to a rail-line, and as I raced the headlight of a freight train the radio seemed to be playing an awful lot of Nirvana. I knew Cobain was dead.

By the fall of 94, itching for a change of location, and with fiancee in tow, I moved to the seacoast area of New Hampshire. It's hard to say how long MOL would have played, or what direction our sound would have taken if I hadn't moved. The band never broke up. A reunion is likely.

Early in 1995 I was reading the cork board on my way out of Daddy's Junky music in Portsmouth, and bumped into a guitar player putting up a tear sheet looking for musicians to jam with. I shook hands for the first time with Dave Hunter. This is obviously a work in progress...there's about 15 more years to catch up on here... patience.
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Horizon 1988-1991
Men On Ladders 1991-1994
Attic Reggatta 1997-1998
WOW 1998-2005
The Molenes 2006-2007




Blues Vamp 
1987, with Pete Perzel


Those Without Feet (demo) 1992, Men On Ladders


Run Through The Puddles 1998, Attic Reggatta









That Was Then, This Is WOW  2001, WOW









This Car Is Big 
2006, The Molenes










Music Box
 2009, Mary Kaye













Mapex Mars Pro
Standard 5 piece kit: 22 kick, 16 floor, 13, 12 racktoms.
Slingerland Brass Snare
16, Kurt Eckstrom wants this drum
Zildjian Cymbals
(2) 16” Thin Crash, 1988
16” Rock Crash, 1991
14” New Beat Hi Hats, 1988
20” Ping Ride, 1996
Pedals
DW 5000A double kick
DW 5000A hi hat
Roland V-Drums
(2)PD-120
(2)PD-100
(3) PD-9
KD-7
FD-7
TD-5 controller (the most ancient Roland v-drum brain there is, heh)
Sticks
Vic Firth 5B nylon tip






arcdrummer@rezonate.com



All sound clips are copyrighted by their individual authors and are presented here for demonstration only. Unauthorized download is prohibited.


Blues Vamp
with Peter Perzel
1986












Candy Store Romance
Men On Ladders
Those Without Feet Demo
1992












Red Car, Red Car, Red 
Men On Ladders
live from The Empire Theatre
1993












Ravenous Eyes
Attic Reggatta
Run Through The Puddles
1997











Bottom Step
Attic Reggatta
Run Through The Puddles
1997











Undercover, Aimless
WOW
That Was Then, This Is WOW
2001











Did I Break Your Heart?
WOW
That Was Then, This Is WOW
2001











Brand New Yesterday
The Molenes
This Car Is Big
2006











Flood
The Molenes
This Car Is Big
2006











Bug
Mary Kaye
Music Box
2009











Turtley Turtleloo
Mary Kaye
Music Box
2009








mailto:arcdrummer@rezonate.comshapeimage_2_link_0
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